OK, truth be told - in her role as Business Blog Angel Team Blogger, Joanna (left), had prepared 2 posts sooner than that last one - it was me that held them up because I wanted to finish something else I was working on before they went out. Seems reasonable doesn't it, but it was taking ages to do. Fortunately for me, Joanna is a stickler for regular and consistent posting and she took the initiative and wrote an alternative post which she knew we could publish straight away.
Now that blockage is removed, I feel the urge to share a few random thoughts with you. Since I haven't written here (other than my Holiday Greeting) since October 12th this may ramble on a bit, but anyway... staying with Joanna for a moment...
When I first connected with her, Joanna had no online presence. She knew nothing about blogging. She was a great client and student and was very quickly flying with confidence through the blogosphere. That kind of thing makes me very happy. Seeing clients' blogs which are to all intents and purposes 'abandoned' makes me sad. I feel somehow responsible - silly I know, but I do. Anyway, back to the point...
This blog I configured for Joanna was for Coaching Wizardry another venture of hers, but she wasted no time in using what she'd learnt from me and her new blogging adventures to create another one for her Confident Writing business and it was that project that flew - she broke the 100 feed subscribers count in a matter of weeks - it's a v. popular blog with a really strong community around it. BUT it didnt have a custom, branded header - just the Typepad standard text header.
Now she doesn't know this yet, but just before Christmas, I started to create a header for Joanna's Confident Writing blog. It was meant to be a surprise Christmas prezzie. Typically for me, it wasn't finished before Christmas, but early in the new year, I got back onto it - who doesn't appreciate a New Year's present! As a matter of course, I visited said blog... and was stumped!! She'd only gone and redesigned it! And how? (click on image to enlarge before and after picture.)
For a couple of seconds, I felt an interesting mixture of emotions - disappointment (that my paltry gift would no longer be of use), delight (at what she'd achieved - she's done a fantastic job) and professional jealousy (that she'd used Advanced Templates - way too complicated for my tiny brain to wrap itself around without deep frustration).
The negative feelings quickly evaporated though, particularly when I read that she'd had some help from another blogger who'd commented on how tricky she'd found it, leaving just the delight. What a success story! Talk about the 'servant' teaching the 'master'. And now she's part of the ever-growing BlogAngel team! Win Win Win!
My partner suggested that Joanna's progress might be a nudge from the Universe to 'up my game' - to learn how to do the more complicated Advanced Templates. I pondered this awhile. But I eventually decided that whilst it would certainly be beneficial (good for both growth and ego) on a personal level, from my clients' points of view, it's not really an issue. You see, whilst having the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page is most definitely a 'good look' and arguably, more 'user friendly', I believe that once you are into Advanced Template territory, you lose a lot of the simple 'tick box, save and publish' processes which are used when configuring in simple Custom Templates - and my entire Blogsite for Business service is built around empowering small business owners by keeping things simple and easy. Maximum impact for minimum effort etc. And the fact that Confident Writing drew so much attention whilst still in its original guise is proof that this simplicity thing works.
Having said that, should I find myself with some spare time (scoff, chortle), I will certainly have another foray into the world of the Typepad Advanced Template. Naturally, I'll share my experience here when I do.
OK... so I was going to write about a couple of other things here, but I think I'll save those for another day, because today is officially my In Awe of Joanna 'Confident Writing' Young Day. Long may I have the fortune and pleasure of working with her!
And if you're inspired by Joanna's story and think you'd like to start blogging for business, why not take a look at our new Blogsite for Business page and book yourself in for an Initial Consultation.
Joanna has teamed up with another BusinessBlogAngel client - Emma Bird of HowToItaly.com - to create a most wonderful proposition...
a writing workshop cum holiday in sun-drenched Sardinia. If you want to hone your writing skills and benefit from the talents and knowledge of these 2 brilliant minds, get yourself over to Absorbing Wiriting In Sardinia fast - I have no doubt that places are being snapped up fast!